Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had, as expected, signed tight end Kellen Winslow to a one-year deal. Winslow had attended the recent mini-camp on a tryout basis and reports were that he had done a solid job. He will now attend camp to compete for playing time with the likes of Jeff Cumberland, Hayden Smith and Konrad Reuland.
Winslow, the son of a hall of famer, was the 6th pick in the 2004 draft, but has suffered some serious leg injuries early in his career, which continue to trouble him to this day. However, he has still been a productive player and his four 75-catch seasons are the third most in NFL history, behind only Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez. He does not have a good reputation as blocker though and has been a controversial figure over the years.
After the jump, I’ll be looking back over his career with an in-depth look at last season in particular in order to assess what he brings to the table and whether the good outweighs the bad.. To read more of this story, click here
As we’ve done in years past, we’re going to start up our Roster Countdown series of posts as we get ready for the regular season.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height / Weight: 6’4” 346 lbs
Age: 25 / Experience: 3
Background: Originially from Jamaica, Ellis moved to Florida when he was about eleven. In high school, Ellis became an All-State defensive tackle. As a senior, Ellis had 67 tackles, 10 sacks and blocked two kicks despite having the season cut to only eight games due to hurricanes. College recruiting writers called him the best defensive tackle of the area since Vince Wilfork. While he received many offers, Ellis decided to play in the SEC with South Carolina. While the reasons were never specified, in the spring after his first season, Ellis was dismissed from South Carolina after being suspended from the first three games of the 2008 season. Ellis chose to transfer to Hampton where he played two seasons earing All-MEAC honors during both years. While he was a four-star recruit out of high school who went to an SEC program, Ellis was not considered a top NFL Draft prospect because of his dismissal and due to a pending felony assualt charge at the time of the Draft. Before his second season, Ellis served part of his sentence and then served the remainder of his sentence in early 2013 at the conclusion of the 2012 season. During that second portion, Ellis participated in a work-release program that allowed him to work with the Hampton football coaches.
As a player, Ellis is surprisingly agile and a lot of his first two years with the team have been about the coaches polishing him up for the pro game. Coming into the league he needed to better understand how to use his leverage and how to stay low through contact with a blocker. While he might be viewed as a classic 3-4 nose tackle he’ll be able to offer some disruption of the pocket when necessary.
2013 Projection: Now free and clear from those charges, the Jets are planning on relying on Ellis extensively in his third year. The Jets must think him capable of the role since they’ve moved on from Sione Pouha, who was one of the league’s best run-stopping nose tackles — when healthy. Ellis will is slated to be the team’s starting nose, and our guess is that the team will use him on early downs and might move him off the field for guys like Garay and/or Richardson in passing situations. Ellis has an element of disruption that is certainly an upgrade from Sione Pouha, but there might be a bit of a lag in the team’s overall run stuffing up the middle while Ellis addressing the learning curve of being a full-time starter and not just a replacement. On the whole though, expect good things from Ellis with such a potent line around to help him out. Ellis is quick and fiercely strong, which should command some double teams to help free up others around him.
- Winslow could turn into major steal [Jets Confidential]
- Jarrett in the mix at safety [ESPN NY]
- Jets rebuilding around their defensive linemen [Jets Insider]
- “I’m a hell of a lot better football coach than I’m given credit for” [CBS]
- Mornhinweg, McDonald talk about their sons on father’s day weekend [ESPN NY]
- Jets TE corps now boast impressive size [NFL.com]
- Pettine denies telling his defensive players to “kill” [NY Post]
One day after Kellen Winslow Jr.’s tryout, the Jets signed the tight end to a one-year contract, Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger reports:
The Jets have been searching for depth at the position following the departure of former No.1 option Dustin Keller, who signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins this offseason.
Jeff Cumberland, slated as the No. 1 tight end coming in to camp, is confident he can carry the load but also welcomed the addition of Winslow, a former No. 6 overall pick by the Browns in 2004.
Winslow, who’s (sic) creaky knees have kept him out of football for almost the entire season last year — he had one catch for 12 yards with New England — said on Thursday he felt healthy following his three mini camp practices with the Jets.
“I know (Rex Ryan) knows what I can do,” Winslow said. Adding later: “I feel like it would be a great spot. I like the team, I like the teammates, I hope I can stay.”
We first wrote about Winslow coming to mini camp for a tryout here
There may have been more to Winslow being out of the league than just his knee issues last year. While Winslow has had at least five knee surgeries
since his motorcycle accident back in 2005, he hasn’t missed a game through injury since 2008 and only six overall since returning from that injury. The Seahawks – having traded for him during the offseason – initially released him because he refused to take a pay cut and he was released by the Patriots for “personal reasons”
just one game after they picked him up.
Nevertheless, he represents yet another player that does have injury concerns and has also been a controversial figure over the course of his career. If healthy and in the right frame of mind, he could certainly provide an upgrade for the Jets in terms of his pass catching. He caught over 200 passes in three years with the Bucs prior to last season. While not regarded as much of a blocker, he could be a good fit for the passing game in a Marty Mornhinweg offense. It will be interesting to see how the tight end position shakes out now.
If Mike Tannenbaum on the TJB Podcast this week wasn’t enough for you, then Corey and I have a juicy nugget of audio goodness this week that you might enjoy.
While there was a lot mentioned in the news about the Jets paintball day last week, what was it actually like being there? Thanks to Matthew Sbordone, Jets fan / reader of the blog / eyewitness to the Jets paint war last week, you’ll now know.
Who was shot in the head (see their Facebook page for a clue) point blank? Who was the most aggressive player? What big man has cat-like speed and agility on the paintball field? Who was the most vocal leader? Which rookie stood out most to Matthew?
For more details and pictures from the event, check out Hardcore Paintball Arena‘s Facebook Page.
As always, e-mail us with feedback, comments, or questions for a future show: email@example.com
TJB Friday Chat – 2pm ET
Join us at 2pm for our weekly TJB chat.
In order to access the room, you must now sign up for a chatzy account at Chatzy.com – click where it says log in/sign up in the top right hand corner. Obviously if you registered already, you can log into your existing account. You will then be able to access the room at the usual address – Chatzy.com/TJB where this week’s password is nocomment.
Apologies for this extra requirement, but it will allow us to moderate the chat more effectively and prevent any abuse or vulgarity. The action gets underway at 2pm, so you’ve got a quarter of an hour to get yourselves signed up!
There was some premature hubbub Wednesday about whether or not Geno would attend Jets West, but it sounds as if the whole thing was overblown.
“We haven’t talked about it, but from my understanding its something that’s done annually and all the guys go out there and it’s been a great experience,” Smith told reporters on Thursday. “Mark hasn’t officially extended the hand to me but I’m pretty sure there’s no problem there.”
Sanchez had told reporters on Wednesday that like prior years, everyone was invited.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Any potential controversy here was manufactured and it’s right that Mark will invite him and it’s right that Geno attends. Anything else would be a lose-lose proposition for one or both of the quarterbacks. We’re glad that the offense will get a few more chances to work together before the start of training camp … we get the feeling it’s needed based on some of the bumps in the road during the spring sessions.
Here’s a short interview of Jets GM John Idzik that aired last night on SNY.
Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum calls in this week to talk everything Jets with Brian Bassett and Corey Griffin. The guys talk about Gang Green’s off season, the draft, the Revis trade, the Sanchez contract, Mike’s time running the team, and what he’s doing now.
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Intro with hosts Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett
Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum calls in (01:20)
Mini Camp Report and Chat (20:30)
The Mailbag (28:40)